Academic journal article Journal of Psychosocial Research

Early Maladaptive Schemas and Early Trauma Experiences in Depressed and Non Depressed Individuals: An Indian Study

Academic journal article Journal of Psychosocial Research

Early Maladaptive Schemas and Early Trauma Experiences in Depressed and Non Depressed Individuals: An Indian Study

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Depression with an overall prevalence of 15.1% in India has triggered various researches across the country (Poongothai et al., 2009). According to Beck (1979), depressive information processing stems from the activation of pathological cognitive structures or schemas that develop early in life and become activated in adulthood in response to stressful experiences. Drawing from Beck's schema model, Young (1990), named a subgroup of schemas as Early Maladaptive Schemas (EMS), which includes deep rooted patterns of distorted thinking, disruptive emotions and dysfunctional behaviours. EMS are conceptualized as originating from dysfunctional familial experiences and elaborated throughout one's lifetime and dysfunctional to a significant degree (Young & Brown, 2003).

There is accumulated evidence in western studies on the relationship between the EMS and depression, in which elevated scores on all schema domains are recorded in depressed patients than controls. Depression severity also has been found to be related to various EMS. Although in India published studies with respect to EMS and depression were not found in India, related studies in Indian context showed positive correlations between interpersonal sensitivity, dependency and dysfunctional attitudes in patients with depression (Vidyanidhi & Sudhir, 2009). One study to investigate the relationship between EMS and Coping Style in Iran and India revealed that the correlation between compensation subscales in women from India was higher than women from Iran and differences was found within Iran and India among mild and moderately depressed, young and older women in overcompensation as coping style as opposed to avoidance (Nia & Sovani, 2014).

As with the EMS, there appears to be a complex relationship among traumatic experiences and the onset of clinical depression. History of trauma is identified as a risk factor for chronic depression (Zlotnick, 1997). Some of the childhood trauma experiences which are documented to have adverse impact in adult life are physical, sexual, and emotional abuse and maltreatment (Allers, 1992; Anderson, 1993). While the research is largely skewed towards finding relation between early trauma experiences and depression there are scanty attempts at finding specific abuse experiences and the schema domains. There seems to be a relation between EMS and 'early childhood toxic experiences' as Young et al. (2003) hypothesised EMS to originate from four types of 'toxic childhood experiences' that prevent a child's core emotional needs from being met in an adaptive manner. Studies show that the elevated mean schema scores for almost all the EMS and different subcategories of emotional abuse were significantly correlated (McGinn et al., 2005). Women with a history of abuse had higher mean scores in EMS of the disconnection and entitlement than women without a history of abuse (Cukor & McGinn, 2006). Further, disconnection mediated between childhood abuse and depression severity. Overall severity of abuse was significantly correlated with mistrust/abuse, defectiveness/shame, subjugation, vulnerability, emotional deprivation and inhibition EMS; with different but overlapping schema profiles observed for each form of abuse (Hartt & Waller, 2002). With respect to specific types of abuse and its relation to EMS, emotional abuse was found to predict the defectiveness, emotional deprivation, mistrust, and emotional inhibition schemas (Cecero et al., 2004).

Though there is support for the relation between schema domains and depression and early trauma experiences and depression, there is limited research on the relationship between specific early trauma experiences and EMS and its relation with depression. In India there is a major dearth of published studies on EMS and depression. The present study is thus an attempt to find out whether patients with depression have significantly greater experience of early trauma as well as the EMS and the relationship between them. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.